Inflated electricity bills issue: Dy CM Ajit Pawar to chair meeting with SERC, discoms

Mumbai: Amidst rising complaints from electricity consumers and political parties against the inflated bills for June despite lockdown, the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will chair a meeting on Wednesday with the power distribution companies and the state electricity regulatory commission (SERC) chairman Anand Kulkarni. Although Pawar on Tuesday met ministers Eknath Shinde, Jitendra Awhad, Nitin Raut, Varsha Gaikwad and Anil Parab, there was no final decision as they decided to talk to Kulkarni who is currently in New Zealand. He will participate in the meeting through video conference.

Power distribution companies, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran), BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Tata Power and Adani Electricity will also participate in Wednesday’s meeting.

Even though the power distribution companies following the SERC’s directives, have provided EMI and instalments for the payment of electricity bills, the consumers are not happy. They have taken strong objection against the payment of interest on the instalment. These companies have also decided not to disconnect the electricity supply allowing the consumers to pay bills in three instalments.

The State Energy Department Officer told the Free Press Journal, ‘’Various options will be discussed at Wednesday's meeting. The distribution companies will waive the interest on instalment payment, they can propose increased electricity tariff for industrial consumers to give concession to the residential consumers.

SERC allows 16.5% return on equity to these power distribution companies so they can shell out Rs 100-150 crore to provide relief to consumers.’’ Further, he informed that the government may consider providing subsidies to all these power distribution companies including those from the private sector.

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